Lice are often associated with bad hygiene, but that’s not always the case. Lice infestation is often a painful and embarrassing experience. What’s worse, they reproduce and spread fast, and that makes your fight against them even more difficult.
Head lice feed on blood so they thrive on the scalp. The reason why they cause itching is their saliva which irritates your scalp. Also, they produce a characteristic, super strong adhesive to attach their eggs to the hair shafts.
So, you won’t be able to pick out all the eggs only with a nit comb.
Even though there are many shampoos and other over-the-counter products for lice removal, new strains of lice have developed resistance to their content.
So, you’ll only expose your hair to different chemicals without eliminating the lice.
The other effective and safer alternative is to use natural ingredients to get rid of the notorious head lice. You can use them to prepare all natural remedies to kill the lice without damaging your hair. Just remember to be patient and consistent.
Here are the best 5 natural methods to exterminate lice completely:
#1 Method – Vaseline, Mayonnaise, and Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix equal amounts of Vaseline and mayonnaise and apply the paste all over your scalp and hair using a hair dye brush. This mixture acts by suffocating the lice. Leave the mixture for about six hours, or even better, apply it in the evening and let it stay overnight.
Don’t forget to wear a shower cap to prevent your bedding from messing, but also to help suffocate the lice.
The next morning, wash your hair with your regular shampoo mixed with equal amounts of apple cider vinegar. You don’t have to use a lot of it, but just the amount you need as always.
Make sure you wash your hair thoroughly and then blow-dry your hair. Finally, comb your hair with a nice nit comb to remove any dead lice and nits.
The reason why you should use the vinegar in your shampoo is to loosen the glue that makes nits firmly attached to your hair strands. It eases the job of your fine nit comb by helping you to comb your hair strands easily.
Do this twice a week for two months to stop lice from multiplying and eliminate them completely.
#2 Method – Salt, White Vinegar, and Tea Tree Oil
Take a jar and put some salt in it. Then, heat an equal amount of white vinegar and pour it in the jar. Add several drops of tea tree oil, depending on the amount of the other two ingredients.
For instance, if you use one tablespoon of each vinegar and salt, add five drops of oil. Mix well.
White vinegar contains acetic acid which is toxic to lice. What’s more, it helps remove nits with a nit comb by loosening up the glue which keeps them stuck to your hair strands. Salt, on the other hand, helps kill the lice by dehydrating them.
For an easier application, use a spray bottle to spray the solution all over your hair and scalp. Let it act for two hours while wearing a shower cap. After this period, shampoo and condition your hair as always and then dry it with a hair dryer. Finally, comb your hair with a fine nit comb to remove any dead nits and lice.
Do this twice per week for about three weeks.
#3 Method – Rubbing Alcohol
Dilute some rubbing alcohol with an equal amount of water. Then, pour the solution into a spray bottle.
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent disinfectant and a great agent for killing lice. However, you must dilute it before using it since it’s very strong. As a matter of fact, if your scalp is irritated from all the scratching, even a diluted rubbing alcohol will cause a burning sensation.
Spray the solution all over your hair and scalp and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Then, use a nit comb to remove the dead nits and lice. Finally, wash your hair with shampoo as always, and blow dry it.
Repeat twice a week for about two months for optimal results.
#4 Method – Hot Oil Treatment
Fill a pan with water and place it over heat. Then, put a heat-resistant glass bowl in the pan and pour half a cup of coconut oil in it. Next, add one tablespoon of camphor in powdered form to the coconut oil and mix well.
The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil will help suffocate the lice. Being a great lubricant, coconut oil will help detach the nits from your hair strands. On the other hand, camphor has a sharp odor that will knock the lice out, thus easing the process of combing them out of your hair.
Another plus from coconut oil is its ability to treat dandruff.
Wait until the coconut oil/camphor solution cools down until comfortably hot, and massage it into your hair using your fingers. Leave it for about half an hour, and then comb out the dead lice with a good quality nit comb. Wash your hair with shampoo as always.
Do this twice per week for about three weeks, or longer if needed.
#5 Method – Cetaphil
Apply Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser all over your scalp and hair. Try to leave as less Cetaphil on your hair as you can by combing it out with a comb. This should reduce the time needed for blowing your hair dry.
Detangle your thick, long hair with a wide-toothed comb first, and then use a fine-toothed comb to comb out the excess Cetaphil.
Then, dry your hair using a blow dryer, but bear in mind that it’ll probably take a bit longer to dry it thoroughly. Put on a shower cap and let it stay for about eight hours. It’s best to do it before going to bed and leave it overnight. The next morning, shampoo and condition your hair as always.
Cetaphil acts by sealing the lice as it slowly dries. In fact, it’ll leave them immobile, eventually suffocating them. Do this once weekly for three weeks. It’s important to be consistent to stop the lice from multiplying.
- You can make changes in the amount of the ingredients depending on the hair length unless mentioned.
- For an easier application, section the hair into smaller sections.
- Although you may think all the lice are dead after the first or second application, continue the treatment for at least three weeks to successfully stop their lifecycle.
- Before using rubbing alcohol or any vinegar, do a skin test to check for allergies. If you notice any reaction, avoid lice treatments with these ingredients.
- You can replace the coconut oil with the antiseptic Neem oil. It’ll prevent your scalp turn sore from itching.
- To remove any caught lice or nit from the nit comb, make sure you dip the nit comb into a solution of water and salt after every swipe.
- After any lice treatment, wash your clothing and the entire bedding into the “hot cycle” of the dryer for 20 minutes.